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Tampa Staycation

by Meghann on September 6, 2012

Last Friday Derek and I attended a food truck rally at MOSI with our friends Diana and Andrew. Out of the 4 of us, Derek was the only one who had ever been to MOSI before and that was years ago. The rest of us agreed that it was all something we all wanted to do, but we just hadn’t made it a priority to do so. Truthfully there are a lot of random things around Tampa that we’ve all wanted to do, but haven’t had the time to do it.

Diana and Andrew had a solution to this – plan a Tampa staycation where you spend a weekend just doing all the things in Tampa you’ve always heard about, but have never done. I joked and replied “that’s what you do when family comes in town.” Which is true (when family comes in town my #1 goal is to entertain them by showing them around Tampa), but I really think they’re on to something here. So I put my thinking cap on and started thinking about what a Tampa staycation would look like for Derek and me. (note this is just what I would plan, unfortunately we don’t have an entire free weekend to execute it in the near future)

Friday night:

Cheese Tasting at Cheese Please


I had a friend mention this to me a few months ago and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since. Every Friday and Saturday night Cheese Please in downtown Tampa opens their doors for an evening of cheese tasting and cheese education. Every tasting has its own theme and includes an eight cheese course menu that’s paired with the perfect condiments and wines.

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Cost: $25.00 per person. Pre-paid reservation is required. Pay online or call to 813-805-BRIE (2743) or 813-766-0060

Saturday Morning:

Batting Cages


Derek is a baseball fanatic. He played in his youth and is semi-obsessed with following his favorite team (the Tampa Bay Rays) now. I’ve been begging him for over a year to take me to the baseball cages and teach me how to hit. I’m not sure where the best place to do this in Tampa would be, but I have a feeling Derek does! I just need to catch him in the right mood where he has enough patience to teach me how it’s done (note I’ve never played a game of baseball/softball – or even tried hitting a ball with a bat – a day in my life)

Saturday Afternoon:



MOSI = Museum of Science and Industry

Honestly, this place just looks like fun. There is a ropes course and zip line outside that’s visible from the road. Every time I drive by, I want to get out and climb on it. I’m sure there’s cool stuff inside too (science = cool), but really it’s the ropes course I want to play on.


MOSI also has an IMAX theater that Derek and I have been meaning to go to. We’ll have to save this for another staycation though.

Cost: $20.95 ticket included MOSI Exhibits Galleries, one Saunders Planetarium show, one standard IMAX® Dome Theatre Film and Kids In Charge! $7 add-on for ropes course

Saturday Evening:

Tampa Theater

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The gorgeous historical landmark is a not-for-profit theater that shows everything from modern day independent films to classic silent films. I’ve heard seeing a movie here is quite an experience, as they’ve kept pretty true to restoring the theater to its 1926 glory. Besides showing their nightly movies, the theater also hosts monthly events (like the Tampa Theater Wine Festival) and offers weekly tours (Backstage-to-Balcony).

Cost: Admission tickets for adults range anywhere from $8 – $12. Backstage-to-Balcony tours are $5

Sunday Brunch:

Ella’s Soul Food Sundays


I’ve been to Ella’s for dinner twice, but never for their Soul Food Sundays (which is what they’re famous for!). Check out Ella’s Yelp page and the Soul Food Sundays is the only thing everyone raves about on there. That means it has to be good. I already know what I’d order – chicken and waffles. :)

Sunday Afternoon:

Big Cat Rescue

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Big Cat Rescue, a non profit educational sanctuary, is home to over 100 unwanted, abandoned or abused exotic big cats. I wasn’t even sure it was a place that was open to the public until my future sister-in-law brought my future niece there last summer. She raved about the staff and how touched she was by the stories behind each of the cats. She told me I needed to visit it myself, and the place has been on my bucket list ever since.

So there you have it, our make-believe Tampa staycation. I think it sounds like a good time. :)

If you were planning a staycation in your town, what would it look like?

If you were planning a staycation in your town, what would it look like?

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